If you've followed recent Town Council or Planning Commission meetings, or read the local papers
, you've likely come across the term "community purpose" in context of the ongoing Base Village review process. But what exactly does "community purpose" mean? The answer is found in the town's Land Use Code
Essentially, community purposes may be offered by an applicant, following the code criteria, to rationalize or justify proposed variations from development parameters set by an approved underlying zoning or planned unit development (PUD).
The following is a full definition of community purposes as defined by the code.
(6) Community purposes for PUDs.
The Comprehensive Plan identifies certain purposes the community intends to achieve as it develops. The following purposes shall be used in determining whether the buildout for a PUD may exceed sixty-five percent (65%) of that identified in the buildout analysis and whether any of the parcel's dimensional limitations should be varied:
a. Provision of restricted housing
A parcel's maximum buildout may be achieved and its dimensional limitations may be varied to offer an incentive to applicants to provide more restricted housing within the PUD than would otherwise be required by this Development Code, particularly in those priority locations for such housing identified within the Comprehensive Plan.
b. Encourage sustainable development
A parcel's maximum buildout may be achieved and its dimensional limitations may be varied to encourage sustainable development within the Town that diversifies the mix of lodging, retail and dining uses and that is consistent with the intent of the Comprehensive Plan. Sustainable development may be of the type that creates a sense of place where one can live and work within a small defined service area as well as where recreation, public transportation, open space, personal services and shopping are within reasonable walking distance. It may also be where the development includes positive social, environmental or economic benefits that significantly contribute to, greatly enhance or are determined necessary for the sustainability of the community as a whole.
c. Provide open space and/or avoid wildlife habitat
A parcel's maximum buildout may be achieved and its dimensional limitations may be varied to provide necessary site planning flexibility to enable the development to provide more and higher quality open space or to conserve critical wildlife habitat lands. This shall be accomplished in such a way as to maintain these lands as large, contiguous areas. Such lands shall not be fragmented into small, unconnected areas by development, unless the applicant demonstrates that this arrangement will result in the most suitable development pattern for the property, and that the lands providing valued open space or critical wildlife habitat have been protected. Where applicable, connections of such lands on the site to such lands on adjacent properties shall be accomplished.
d. Encourage better design
A parcel's dimensional limitations may be varied (but its maximum buildout may not be achieved) to allow for greater variety in the type, design and layout of buildings. Structures shall be designed to be compatible, in terms of height, mass, scale, orientation and configuration, with other buildings in the PUD and with surrounding uses, yet shall avoid uniformity of design. Various types of residential uses may be combined within the PUD (when allowed by the underlying zone district), to promote more efficient land use patterns and increased open space.
e. Develop necessary public facilities
A parcel's maximum buildout may be achieved and its dimensional limitations may be varied to provide an incentive for an applicant to develop, or contribute to the development of, necessary public facilities, such as public parking and transportation facilities, public recreation facilities and other public facilities consistent with the intent of the Comprehensive Plan and the Town's goals and objectives. The facilities may be located within or outside of the PUD, but shall be facilities beyond the required mitigation for the project that meet the needs not only of project residents, but also of other residents of and visitors to the Town and shall promote, generally, the public health, safety and welfare.
Achieving one (1) or more of the applicable purposes listed above does not, by itself, grant any development entitlement for the buildout of a PUD to exceed sixty-five per-cent (65%) of that identified in the buildout analysis or for any of the parcel's dimensional limitations to be varied.